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AoA Sunfire

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

While the X-Men tried to recruit every mutant they met, there were some who remained steadfastly unaffiliated. Oh, sure, they might help for a mission or two, but then it was back to their own lives. One such character was Shiro Yashida, the Japanese hero Sunfire.

With his home country of Japan destroyed by the Horsemen of Apocalypse, Sunfire was captured and subjected to brutal experiments. At the hands of the Horseman, Death, his mutant powers were pushed to their absolute limit. By the time Death was finished with him, he was constantly on fire, his body eternally consuming itself in superheated flame. Rescued and recruited by the X-Men, he was fitted with a protective suit that shields him from the devastating effects of his own power. Driven by vengeance, he burns with the hope of one day avenging himself on those who destroyed his beloved homeland.

While this is sold as the "Age of Apocalypse" version of Sunfire, he recently started looking like this in the 616, as well: after getting de-mutanted in the post-House of M decimation known as "M-Day," Apocalypse showed up and offered Shiro his powers back. He accepted, became the new Horseman Famine, and got this fancy new suit.

Hasbro has a long tradition of doing "Fans' Choice" figures for their Star Wars license, but this is their first shot for Marvel Legends. In a poll run through ToyFare magazine, fans could pick which of eight Marvel characters they'd want to see as an exclusive, and Sunfire beat out such luminaries as Silver Samurai and Gambit. The figure is packaged on a unique blister card, a different shape than the rest of the Legends with a fiery backdrop and a large cradboard wrap around the bottom. It's a very sharp look, and definitely belongs to Sunfire alone. It'll probably piss off the MOCers, however, since they won't be able to integrate their collections.

Sunfire is built using the ever-popular Bullseye body, which is a fine choice for a guy who's listed as being 5'10" and 175 lbs (that's 1,778 millimeters and 79,378.66475 grams, to you metric-using heathens out there). The forearms and shins are new, with large molded flames rising off them - they're definitely not the same seen on the ML Human Torch. He also has the addition of a studded neck-ring, a holdover from Magneto's position as team leader in the AoA universe.

In the altered universe, Sunfire traded in his "Japanese fighting fish" mask for one seemingly lifted from the Phantom of the Opera. The mask only covers the upper part of his face, and is almost perfectly smooth - just a small bump for his nose (there wasn't any such thing in the comics, presumably because he'd already burned his own nose off). As a nod to his Japanese origin, there's a single red dot on the figure's forehead: rising sun and all that. Fire rises off his scalp and shoulders just like it does on his limbs.

All the photos we've seen of the exclusive Sunfire so far showed him as being solid yellow, so imagine my surprise when the figure arrived and was actually molded from translucent plastic. He's still yellow, it's just that he blocks less light than expected. The orange of the flames is solid, as is the mask. The black details of his "costume" are all painted well, with crisp edges all around. It would have been nice if the egdes near joints had gotten a heavier coat, so the yellow plastic doesn't show through, but that's minor.

Sunfire doesn't have any accessories, but does he really need any? When he flies, he just does it: it's not like the Human Torch, where he leaves a trail of flame behind him. Articulation is the only action feature he needs, and he's got plenty: balljointed head, balljointed and hinged shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, peg forearms, hinged wrists, hinged torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, peg thighs, double-pin knees, swivel shins, hinged rocker ankles and hinged toes. Because of the clear plastic, you can see how all those joints work. Thanks to the fire rising off his head, the toy just edges over the 7" mark.

Sunfire isn't the first Marvel Legends exclusive, or even the first sold on HasbroToyShop.com. He is, however, the first chosen by the fans, and is historic for that reason alone. Fortunately, the toy is well-made, and will look great next to your AoA Sabretooth and Weapon X, and can help them fight Holocaust Nemesis when Hasbro Legends 4 finally ever shows up.


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